As you know, I love to support Irish businesses as much as possible and especially love new innovative products such as the ‘Innervase’.
The ‘Innervase’ is the brainchild of Karen English from Naas, Co Kildare, who came up with the idea whilst gardening.
“I had hydrangea and gladioli growing in my garden and I thought to myself that they would look stunning in a vase together but due to their shapes that they could not be displayed in the same vase together. The gladioli would dwarf the short round hydrangea stems,” said Karen.
It was then that she started sketching a device that would solve this problem and had the idea patented in 2016. Another problem it solved, advised Karen “is that some flowers, supermarket stems in particular, can simply be too short for a vase. You may have bought yourself some nice roses or tulips and the flowers just about make it to the rim of the vase.”
The ‘Innvervase’ also includes a perforated disk which spreads out the flowers in the device to ensure every bunch will look its best. It can also create a two-tier effect, making flower arranging much easier for any novice.
Karen’s favourite thing about the ‘Innervase’ is that is just disappears from sight when in the vase. The patented technology in the arms of the ‘Innervase’ allows the arms to extend and retract to fit most medium to large vases.
After coming up with the idea, however, Karen decided to go back to college full time and studied for a degree in geography in Maynooth University, where she is currently studying for a masters in climate change.
It was 2019 when Karen decided to revisit her idea and sourced a product designer and manufacturer to make her product here in Ireland.
It was important to Karen that the product be manufactured locally so she could oversee the quality of manufacturing and lesson the carbon footprint that would arise with shipping from China. Karen chose Irish company Key Plastics in Bray.
In terms of costs Karen advised “I keep the price low as I believe every home should have one and every hotel should have many. It is €10 for the product plus shipping. The shipping is reasonable (€6.96) as you can buy up to ten online and pay the flat rate shipping fee. I pass on the An Post discounts where I can to keep the shipping low.”
When asked about her buyers’ market, Karen replied “My product is appealing to all, genuinely. Men have been buying them as they appear interested from a design point of view and they buy them as gifts.
"Women are buying for themselves but also as gifts for their friends as they understand the need for the ‘Innervase’ and I believe the product is appealing to them as they are creating nicer work spaces in the home and flowers spruce up every room. But I believe all demographics, who rent or own a home, are my target market. Every home should have one.”
Flowers before, and after, using the Innervase
When asked if Covid-19 had any effect on starting her business, Karen's response was “The only hurdle I had during Covid was that I met with the manufacturers the week before Ireland shut down a year ago, and they had to delay a little due to their conveyor belt being used solely for PPE equipment. But due to the fact the product is made in Ireland, I do not have to deal with delays with customs etc.”
Although the ‘Innervase’ is available to order online www.innervase.com, Karen has set her sights on expansion. “My plans for the business are to expand into the wholesale sector and also to sell through exhibitions for hotel, home and wedding fairs when they reopen.
It was originally designed with exhibitions being my main point of sale. But I have designed the boxes with packaging components in Bray so that they are robust enough for postal delivery. I want to expand the brand of ‘Innervase’ to be recognisable so it does not have to be demonstrated in order to sell it. I am working on sales channels in the UK and the US currently, but in baby steps,” she said.
For more information you can contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org or make a purchase at www.innervase.com.
Personally, I think this a great product and am looking forward to using it when styling homes for my clients. We wish Karen all the best of luck with her new business.
If there is a topic that you would like covered in one of my weekly columns, then please drop me an email with your suggestions. Many thanks and stay safe, Louise.
Louise is a former winner of TV3’s Showhouse Showdown. Contact 086 3999926; email email@example.com; www.aspiredesign.ie.